Gurner buys former nightclub from Catalfamo family

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A FORMER nightclub site in Melbourne’s Southbank site is finally set for redevelopment after the owners struck a deal with the prolific developer Tim Gurner to build a $250 million tower with 400 apartments.

Now home to the Urban Central Hostel, the 334 City Road property spans 1,652 sqm and has been held since 1999 by the Catalfamo family, who founded the Australian Meat Group.

In 2014 they put forward plans for an 81-storey tower with 600 apartments that were rejected, before obtaining a permit for a more modest 38-level tower in 2016.

Long-time Gurner collaborators Warren and Mahoney have been appointed to redesign the existing scheme with plans re-submitted to Melbourne City Council including 400 one, two and three-bedroom residential apartments across 40 levels.

Amenities will also include a health and wellness precinct, two-level gym, communal dining, cinema and entertainment precinct, dog wash and dog run, and a rooftop bar in a nod to the Eve Nightclub that once occupied the site.

“This site is strategically located in the heart of the southern entertainment precinct within proximity to Crown Casino, South Melbourne and the Arts Precinct,” Gurner said.

“We are increasingly building a portfolio of larger mixed-use projects where we can incorporate our wellness and concierge services as a longer-term play, and this project perfectly fits that model.

Gurner’s $7 billion pipeline includes the freshly-submitted plans for a $1.25 billion luxury apartment, hotel and hospitality project on a Gold Coast site previously held by collapsed developer Ralan.

In Melbourne, it has recently picked up sites picked up a a 1.3-hectare warehouse site in Melbourne’s eastern city fringe suburb of Richmond for an $800 million mixed-use project, soon after it struck a deal with Qualitas and site owner Newmark Capital for a $1.4 billion redevelopment of the Jam Factory retail and cinema complex in South Yarra.

It also picked up a former bluestone church and Sunday school hall building in Prahran for a $40 million luxury apartment and club project while it flagged up to 15 further site acquisitions.

Gurner said the group had been planning and preparing for this growth period over the past 36 months.

“I believe this next property cycle will move quickly and it will be critical to swiftly capitalise on the economic recovery period we are currently experiencing, underpinned by what I am forecasting will be significant movement and migration from overseas from 2022 onwards,” Gurner said.

Warren and Mahoney principal Nick Deans said 344 City Road’s architectural design deliberately sets out to establish a new level of luxury living in the Southbank precinct.

“The external façade of the building makes a bold statement, designed ‘in the round’ to ensure it delivers appeal from all aspects.

“With its defined crown structure atop of the building, the tower is a symbolic piece of architecture that will be highly visible on the skyline of Southbank and contribute to Melbourne’s broader city-scape.

Residents will have uninterrupted views of the CBD and back to Port Philip Bay.

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